North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Ways to naturally boost immune system


February 7, 2018 | View PDF

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Vitamin D and supplements are one way to naturally boost your immune system.

Flu season is here and it's hitting hard. One of the best things we can do to prevent getting the flu, or how strong it hits us, is to boost our immune system so we are ready to fight off the bug.


This is not a supplement I would take daily, but if the cold and flu bugs are hitting your home or office it's time to add it to the daily routine. Echinacea has been proven to help prevent the common cold when take prior to or at the first signs of symptoms. It works best at treating an upper respiratory infection.

Vitamin D

The sunshine supplement. Especially here in cold and rainy Washington we need more vitamin D in our diets. This is readily available from sunshine, but when we don't get much sun and a tropical vacation isn't an option taking liquid vitamin D3 is a great option. It's tasteless and you only need a few drops so adding it in your glass of water or just taking it straight is simple to do. You can also get D3 from fish and eggs.

Infrared Sauna

Spending a few relaxing minutes in an infrared sauna can help improve the immune system. Similar to the body's reaction when getting a fever and fighting off the bad germs, an infrared sauna will raise the core temperature of your body and engage the immune system to respond. It's basically a workout for your immune system. The stronger your immune system is, the better it will be when the flu virus is near you to fight it off.

Colloidal Silver

Silver is one of the most underrated and unknown supplements considering all its capable of. While it should not be used daily (typically not more than 2 weeks straight) it's short-term benefits are astounding. It can be used internally to help boost immunity and externally to treat wounds.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Getting the good bacteria in your diet is key to maintaining gut health and overall immune function. It's important to get good sources of prebiotics in addition to probiotics. Prebiotics work as the food for probiotics. Some good ways to get the prebiotics in the diet are raw leeks, garlic, onions and asparagus. Sources of good probiotics are fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles and kombucha. Together prebiotics and probiotics help to build and maintain the good bacteria in your gut.

If you should come down with the flu or cold, it's important to maintain healthy eating. Loading up on sugary drinks or foods, while it sound comforting at the time, will only feed the virus and keep you feeling ill. Load up on liquids like water and tea and limit the sugary juice or sports drinks. Electrolytes can be consumed via sea salt, bone broth or coconut water.

Load up on garlic, elderberry, vitamin C and Echinacea if you have the flu hit you or your household. If you have a sore throat or deep cough adding some local honey and apple cider vinegar to some tea or hot water can help break it up and keep you hydrated.

And, of course, don't forget to wash your hands often and stay home if you are sick.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at


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